lost custody of child/ psych. said breastfeeding child too dependant on mom - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 11-16-2003, 02:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I recently lost custody of a child . I posted last year during the worst of the entire process- about how I was losing custody and a large part of it was because of attachment parenting, natural parenting, and extended breastfeeding. I live in a fairly conservative county. I had not a lot of money or time to counter the bias and strategy of creating a set of perceptions the ex-husband was attempting to do. The ex-husband was trying to make me look like a hippy who has these dependent kids and is a white trash welfare mother married to a pothead. It was all stuff I did disprove during the trial. A very flimsy set of perceptions that he partially succeeded-I guess- at creating.

I am writing now to thank the people who responded with their helpful knowledge, links, and spiritual counsel. It was, and still is sad to have lost my daughter in the day to day raising of a child kind of way. I see her every other weekend and one night a week overnight. However, I have not resigned myself to seeing my daughter raised by the abusive, controlling, and neurotic young man I divorced several years ago. The positive thoughts and concrete advice I received last year were very valued and helpful. Short of a brilliant custody lawyer with a particular interest in my case it was the best possible thing at the time.

We, my husband, children, and I, now have her baby sister, over 11 months old to be eternally grateful for. She will also be breastfed, raised as a part of the world, not as the two legged heir to the world of extinction, raised with social justice and active compassion as part of her responsibilities as a human, and a constant reminder of how joy is a part of every aspect of life if we let it be. I wake up every mornig thinking about my daughter and pray (to what or who I have a fuzzy sense of I guess) for her happiness and continued involvement with our healthy lifestyle and warm, loving home with plants, animals, and daily tickling.
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#2 of 22 Old 11-17-2003, 12:13 AM
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I am so sorry to hear you lost custody of her!

I wish both you and her the best, and that it comes out alright despite the loss.
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#3 of 22 Old 11-17-2003, 02:53 AM
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When people jump all over my case for not suing dd's "father" for child support, they can never know that this kind of thing happens all the time. People think the mother has the upper hand in court, when it's realy whoever has the more crafty or expensive lawyer in reality.

I am sorry this happened to you. thank goodness ath the least you have more family around you to help you cope. Good luck.
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#4 of 22 Old 11-17-2003, 03:56 AM
 
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I can't even put into words how enraged I am by your story--I wish you all the love and luck in the world!

We're Tiffani , Mark , Lucy (9/99) , Dexter (8/01) ,and Zachary Marvin (3/07) and Naomi Rose (6/09), home 11/10, by way of Ugandan adoption.

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#5 of 22 Old 11-17-2003, 04:30 AM
 
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uke


These are all of the things that I felt when I was reading your post!!!!!


So many to you and yours. I can't even imagine how you must be feeling.

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#6 of 22 Old 11-17-2003, 10:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so very much for the support. I truly do appreciate it and am going to try and continue to eventually get a wonderful lawyer. I will just have to figure out how that is going to happen. I just am not making th e time to document all of the little unhealthy things *mentally, physically, emotionally- he does to her/for her. I am so angry and heartbroken. Yet, it could be so much worse for her. It is still bad though.

I know that worse things happen to better people ( and animals in labs, shelters, and factory farms) all of the time. I will try to help others and make the time to help myself with making a new case. Really, thanks. I also met someone on this site who helped me a lot with the trial and still helps me a lot even though they have more than an astounding amount of their own trials and experiences to sort through and cope with.
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#7 of 22 Old 11-17-2003, 12:38 PM
 
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I don't remember how old your daugher is, but IMO the best thing you can do for her in the meantime is to stay in her life as much as possible and be a loving example that there IS another way to be in this world. In my experience, children see very well.

And Document document document!!! quietly keep a journal of exactly what you see and hear. Don't add your conclusions or assumptions in it, just the concrete things you see and hear, and that she says, in his treatment of her.

I'm glad you've got support in your daily life and have found a good online friend who can help you through this too.


"What will you do once you know?"
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#8 of 22 Old 11-17-2003, 02:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Once again, I do need to make the time to document. MOnths have gone by and I haven't done 1/10 of what I needed to be documenting. Most women prob wouldn't lose custody for extended breast feeding and cosleeping with all of the evidence as to their benefits but this person had a good lawyer and made my chosen financial condition and husband look bad as well. PLease everyone breastfeed your kids for the amount of time nature and your children need you to. There is ample evidence that it is a wonderful, incompararably, thing for your kids

It is hard to know how to deal with him now. I just want more time with her and I want it as a court entry. He says we should get away from that but just took me to court for a separate thing (child support). I need it in writing so I know I really can see her more
and he "needs " to have it as a control issue. I need a court entry saying I have additional time with her but he doesn't want to do that, says we should have a verbal agreement based on my continuing flexibility giving her to him when he wants to have her on my few days for a trip or something. She turned 6 last week and this has been going on for some time.
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#9 of 22 Old 11-17-2003, 03:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am definitely in this child's life as much as possible. I call, visit her at daycare, but I want more time with her of course. I bring healthy food ( she never gets whole food now) to her at her daycare. But, the truth is, I don't see her as much as she needs and I want to see her more. Why is she in daycare, why is our country so crazy, why would an abusive, cruel, career, money obsessed, punitive, neurotic man get custdoy from a woman who teaches parenting, and is by all counts a great mom'???????????? Lots of anger to work THROUGH. Yeah, I am much of the time trying to be compassionate towards him but do not always succeed, not much at all unless I have just come from reading the Dalai Lama or something similar. I do teach her a different way of being in the world but it seems as if my spiritual approach didn't pay off in the courtroom and now I want my time with her to be concrete-something he can't take away if I wont' change times with him. I have her so little how could he need a time changed anyway??
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#10 of 22 Old 11-17-2003, 03:36 PM
 
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I remember your OP from last year...........

My heart aches for you and your dd.


My disgust with the *system* boils over as to what happened. I live in IL, where a single mom lost custody of her son over ebf. It almost seems surreal........................I can't understand how it could happen at all.

Was LaLeche League of no help to you either? I wonder why they cannot afford a crack attorney to help in these cases...........



(((hug to you)))



El
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#11 of 22 Old 11-17-2003, 03:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Was this the mom that was on a talk show and I heard about last year? I am truly grateful for the empathy. It honestly helps to know there are other people out there who do understand. I would like to talk to her. i was a single mom for years until my kids' dad straightened out and we got married thinking well if I am married surely they will leave her with me. It was just one more good thing that came out of the nightmare of losing my baby-I was reading about the HIV pos. mom who decided to breastfeed and forgo AZT and would like to offer her some support also but the link to her case is inactive. Thanks again. I will not give up on raising my daughter away from his constant tv andcomputer games, babysitters, etc.
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#12 of 22 Old 11-17-2003, 10:06 PM
 
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Mila6, I have tears in my eyes right now at your story. I am going through a horrible divorce..my stbx was abusive physically and emotionally, and he always said if we ever got divorced, he would throw all my ap ways that he once condoned back in my face, because he knew that the mainstream world would not accept them. He was very jealous of the kids... the fact that they co slept, that I extend nursed all three..he slept on the couch from the time my last ds was born until our separation. Sadly, once he moved out, I knew he would try to use everything he could against me, so the kids immediately had to sleep in their own beds( older two..) and the youngest now has a toddler bed set up..that he never sleeps in:LOL but that is there..just in case... it goes against all my heart's wishes. My youngest ds was weaned sooner than I know he wanted to due to this.. and to the weekends he spends with his dad... on a positive note..when we went to our parental mediation, he brought up that our dd was nursed until she was 4..expecting eyebrows to raise.. instead..unbeknowst to him, the mediator was a mother of 5 that nursed all on demand.. and she said, that is one lucky girl I am so sorry for your situation..it is sad but true that money and the right attorney has an advantage.. against the better needs of the children. I could go on and on against a system that pretends to care about what is best for children, yet works against them in the name of being politically correct...I was told by an early settlement panel that my days of sitting home were over..stick my ds in daycare and face the fact that I have to work full time like the rest of the world. ... so now my 3 year old will not get the time he deserves with his mama, unless I can find some way to be a work at home mama.. I am praying for an answer. My thoughts are with you.. it has to be the worst pain for you, yet you seem so strong..I feel I could learn a lot from you.. pm me anytime if you need to talk...Bless you and your family.. and know that you are a good mama.. and the One who matters most sees and knows this most of all.. and one day your dd will see for herself. Peace to you.
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#13 of 22 Old 11-17-2003, 10:13 PM
 
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I can't even imagine how frustrating all this must be for you--I also can't believe that there are lawyers out there who would even take his case--keep posting here, maybe ask around in all the forums for anyone who knows of legal aid for people in your situation. Don't get discouraged! I'd go back to court as many times as possible, even with a court appointed attorney or whatever you can afford, in the hopes of coming before a different judge, or however it works (sorry if I seem to not know what I'm talking about, I don't really, but it just seems that there must be SOME way for you to get your daughter back--at least joint-custody!) I bet if you keep at it, and dig deep you'll find a solution, and in the meantime prove you're a greatly dedicated mom!

We're Tiffani , Mark , Lucy (9/99) , Dexter (8/01) ,and Zachary Marvin (3/07) and Naomi Rose (6/09), home 11/10, by way of Ugandan adoption.

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#14 of 22 Old 11-17-2003, 10:38 PM
 
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Mila..I do not know where you are located..or if you have a parenting plan in place... but regardless of whether or not he wants to " get away from all this" go make a modification for more time with your daughter. His attitude is one of control.. and do not let him control you anymore. You do not need an attorney to submit your modification and the fee is minimal.. the forms are available in the Family Court of your County/Province. The amount of time you are recieving as a mother is nothing.. you deserve more than every other weekend and once a week. I found that a lot of the paperwork needed for this process is easily doable myself, and my attorney actually prefers when I do some of it myself.. because it cuts down on his legwork and saves me money.. he knows he's on the $1 a week till his bill's paid in full plan...so he encourages me to do as much research as I can..and I do.. sometimes I think I know more than him... if you want any help.. I will try as best I can to help you..
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#15 of 22 Old 11-17-2003, 11:02 PM
 
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MIla if you are looking for that mom she usually posts at breastfeeding.com from what I understand. She is a member here as well but I don't know if she ventures into activism. She does occasionally post in the breastfeeding forums. But I haven't seen her posting lately.

Did you lose custody of all of them or just the baby??

I am curious of the people in this area who sent you their contact info. Why your attny didn't contact them...

Maybe you need a new attny cause I know some of them really know their stuff and would provide good info to back up your case.

Not all those who wander are lost 
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#16 of 22 Old 11-18-2003, 11:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have to go now but can't wait to come back and have time to write replies to this fascinating page with people that are going through similar things and to all of the great advice. Yes, the case right before the home study was called-----blank vs. blan re: feeding of child So, the home study was completely biased for many reasons, esp EBF and coslpng. I did have a great lactation consultant who said EBF was fine, to top it all off the child wasn't even breastfed, she had unfortunately been weaned long before because the father takes the child out of the country often ( the judge gave him the go ahead at 36 months of age). After the home study I did have experts who refuted the things said in it about EBF and cosleeping but the recommendation was already there for the judge to stamp. He couldn't believe a 4 yr. old should ever be bf anyway and questioned the expert with raised eyebrow. Your stories are truly heartwrenching and I will try to do anything I can to help and the advice I will take to heart. I have an 11,9,8, yr. old at home as well as sthe nursing 11 month old girl. I am married to their dad, the girl who I lost custody of just turned 6 and is in a separate school, everything. She has a 29 yr old S. American father with well off parents. My husband was not around for ten years for pregnancies, births, but is now a great friend, hubby, and working on being great parent, he 's pretty great. It is awful but the worst part is over for her -she had to be at 50-50 for seven or eight months and that was what destroyed her, now she is used to him and her life. She has been here quite a bit due to how the holidays fall and I had her the entire summer. Now he has a two week vacation with her during the summer. I have to go take the child in question her library books across town. I talked to Liz Baldwin before her passing-I was told she had died, and local LaLeche people. I was given a faulty web site for Liz and took me months to find her. Legal Aid wouldn't help and my friend loaned me money for an attorney who turned out to make huge mistakes ( not putting in a witness list, etc.) I had great advice from a local Attachment Parenting guy who is an attorney in a different county but no money then, now , or in the foreseeable future. Hub is blue collar and I work part time and papy child support. My husband pays child support to the state for the births of our kids when he was an absent parent. We are really broke and still paying for the last trial. My friend helped me get lots of info about these issues for the trial. I will quit being so self-centerED and ADDRESS your problems and situations when I come back sorry- I just can't get started because then I have to explain, explain. With all of the evidence if there is nothing else a woman with a competent attorney prob. wouldn't lose custody over cosleeping or EBF. Just me.
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#17 of 22 Old 11-18-2003, 01:46 PM
 
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The mom who lost custody of her nursing 5 year old awhile back posts as Respondentmom, but she doesn't get online much anymore. She and Firemom know each other IRL, so if you really want to get in touch with her maybe PM-ing Firemom would work?

BTW she does have her son back now and they're doing fine. Work takes up much of her time though.

I don't understand something Mila6. Why would the county now be depriving your children by making your DH pay for the past? I understand some places bill for the absent father to cover what they had to pay in Welfare or whatever, but at this point he isn't absent. They're making life worse for the kids in the present over what happened in the past, in effect punishing them rather than him. I guess it's unusual for the father to reappear??

Kudos to him for doing so and for being a good dad now!

"What will you do once you know?"
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#18 of 22 Old 11-18-2003, 02:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks. I would have never gotten back with the real dad if this young, abusive, ex-husband I met while finishing my degree hadn't been harassing the kids and I so much after I divorced him. I would do anything to go back in life and have the money for a good attorney, or any attorney. Ironic how things work out. I will try to concentrate on helping others when ever I get too mad. Anyway, it is nice to be with a partner and for him to be the real father of the kids makes it easier for sure. I will PM Firemom. Glad the other mom has her child back. I believe I talked to her last year maybe. Did the judge tell her to have a bed for the child even if they didn't use it? That kind of thing came up in this trial but so did so much other untruth and fallacy. Things are changing as far as perceptions of natural parenting and EBF and coslpng go.
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#19 of 22 Old 11-18-2003, 02:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks. I would have never gotten back with the real dad if this young, abusive, ex-husband I met while finishing my degree hadn't been harassing the kids and I so much after I divorced him. I would do anything to go back in life and have the money for a good attorney, or any attorney. Ironic how things work out. I will try to concentrate on helping others when ever I get too mad. Anyway, it is nice to be with a partner and for him to be the real father of the kids makes it easier for sure. I will PM Firemom. Glad the other mom has her child back. I believe I talked to her last year maybe. Did the judge tell her to have a bed for the child even if they didn't use it? That kind of thing came up in this trial but so did so much other untruth and fallacy. Things are changing as far as perceptions of natural parenting and EBF and coslpng go.
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#20 of 22 Old 11-19-2003, 02:02 AM
 
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if your ex has custody & is putting your daughter in daycare when you are available to care for her, I think you may be able to ask the court to assign you as the caregiver during those times. I think I read something about that in a thread on the single parenting section, but it certainly makes more sense (I'm surprised he's not going for that instead of paying for daycare), & I would get a court order for more visitations so he cannot deny you, you can still work out verbal agreements as needed/wanted (but it might be good to have them in writing) & document everything, including if she is being fed a poor diet versus what is provided in your home. Like someone else said, don't include your opinions, just facts/observations. & you may want to record phone conversations with him too. Good Luck & I hope all works out well.
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#21 of 22 Old 11-19-2003, 11:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the sound advice. I do not have a lawyer, or money at all for one but getting one when I can is my first priority. Verbal agreements with this very, very, crafty person are a joke. I will try and document things, it sounds so easy but seems so impossible to have the time. I did already ask to provide daycare. The entire focus of my life has been to choose to be poor rather than have them in daycare. He had a psych say the child was too dependent on me ( she has a very social life, had been in daycare-very unfortunately, for a long time period when I was married to and getting divorced from this person) her life was so open and social. I did have some good recorded stuff, being abusive, threatening to get custody of her, but it didn't seem to make a difference to the one woman who did the evaluation. He is really careful about what he says or writes now and the times he wasn't recently I don't have. I will try and record. It is inadmissable unless he knows he is being recorded.

I do need to document, I have missed so much these last three months since he got residential custody. I am nursing a baby who wakes up if I get up a.m. or p.m. Thanks so much, I need to have these seemingly obvious things reinforced because with five kids and the entire situation it seems as if there is no time, I am so focused on her current health. I will go to court and try and get more time. I don't know when, maybe January, I have her over the Christmas break this year because he took her to S. America over the entire break last year. She is sick frequently with him, she was last year when it went to 50/50 custody. I spend all of my money on food, tinctures for her.
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#22 of 22 Old 11-28-2003, 04:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Meiri
Why would the county now be depriving your children by making your DH pay for the past? I understand some places bill for the absent father to cover what they had to pay in Welfare or whatever, but at this point he isn't absent. They're making life worse for the kids in the present over what happened in the past, in effect punishing them rather than him. I guess it's unusual for the father to reappear??
I don't know anything about Mila6's situation, although I am struggling not to over it, but I wanted to coment on the child support thing.

If I remember correctly (and this is from when I was in MI, so it could vary from state to state), if a father (or mother of course) racks up a "bill" from not keeping up with child support, then it has to be paid back no matter if he's living with his family or not. This is because the gov't considers that their money, not the mother & childrens (since the gov't was theoretically supporting the family).

I actually had a friend whose brother had to pay the state even though the woman & child were living with him in his parents house. It took them 6 months to get it straightened out, and he never received his money back. The funny thing was, they figured his income in when they decided how much assistance she was to receive!


Anyway, many s to you, Mila -- my heart goes out for you & your poor little girl. Just a suggestion, though -- I would take him up on the extra visitations, then document them & when you go back to court later pull them out & say "since he's giving them to me anyway..."
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